Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Daisy

I like to bake and make fun, good-looking and great-tasting stuff but what I really like to do is give it away and see people enjoy it! Being it is just Andrew and I here in Vegas, I have been sending my baked goods off to work with him, always a bit unsure if they make it there UN-eaten...afterall giving Andrew food to DELIVER and NOT EAT is pretty much doomed from the start.
HOWEVER...I should have more faith in the boy because apparently he is delivering the goodies and while he still eats most of what he least he shares!!! So, you might wonder how I know he is actually sharing...well about a week ago he came home and said a co-worker needed a Birthday cake for her friend Daisy...she wants a fruit cake with daisies...I was immediately excited because I obviously love what I do but there was no way I could possibly make that cake in a week since my culinary classes leave me exhausted at the end of the day and I don't have much time in the morning...I told him sadly I couldn't do it!

Now here is what I learned from that conversation...I had brought him some baked goods from class and let him eat all he wanted while I was telling him there was no way I could make the cake in a few days...DO NOT TELL ANDREW IMPORTANT INFORMATION WHILE HE IS ENJOYING SWEATS....HE DOES NOT LISTEN!!! It may appear that he is listening and he is usually a great listener but in his massive sugar coma he completely "yessed" me to death and told his co-worker I would do it.

ANDREW: "Hey Babe, hows that daisy cake coming?"
ME: "Ummm, I don't know..where is it coming from?"
ANDREW: "Well, shouldn't you start making it?"
ME: "UMMMm...hell yea I should start making it...if I took the order."
(this went on for several minutes until I realized he can no longer be trusted to relay information) I had three days to bake, fill, decorate and package this cake and I certainly was not going to make it any less perfect than anything else i made. So... I made Andrew a list of everything I needed from the store, (made him pay for it of course) and told him not to come home until he got everything!! And I meant everything!

Ok so while he was gone, and I was at class I felt increasingly bad for being mean...he totally meant well and I couldn't blame him for the miscommunication..I did help induce the sugar coma that caused the problem.

So i decided to be nice to him again and I brought him more goodies as a Thank You for the thought (and the groceries) and I started to bake...I baked a yellow chiffon cake and filled it with delicious pastry cream, fresh whipped cream, strawberry puree (homemade of course) and fresh strawberries...So i had to bak the cake, make the pastry cream and strawberry puree and i needed to make the fondant for the daisies. That was Day 1.
Day2 I made the daisies...a million of them..ok maybe like 65 of them but it felt like a million!!
Day 3...assembly and deliver.
I brushed the daisies with luster dust and they looked like beautiful silk daisies..nothing at all like edible sugar...I just wish I took a picture of the cake before I decorated it so you can see how yummy it looked!!
Maybe I can get a picture of it sliced!!

But i do really like how it turned out..I was going for a rustic look of a bucket of daisies!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

WARNING: The photos your about to see will make your mouth water!

I hope you grabbed a drool bucket...or at least a napkin. Here are a few things that have been baking in my kitchen over the past few weeks. I have begun the Pastry program at Le Cordon Bleu but I still do a lot of baking in my own kitchen because people just really seem to love my goodies and when I stop making them (I tried taking a break since I bake 5 days a week in class) they seem to go through withdrawal. So here you are ... enjoy...and if you want any recipes or have any can always feel free to e mail me at or check out my full album at this link and leave me a comment here or there.

Let me begin with one of my favorite desserts ever! CHOCOLATE BABKA CAKE...if you don't know what it is, my heart aches for you but yet you will live a slightly skinnier life for not understanding how amazing this sweet chocolate bread is!!!
Back in New York, Brooklyn more specifically, there is a bakery "Your Baker" that would make this cake or bread whatever you want to call it. My grandfather used to bring it for dessert as a special treat and i always loved it. (let me explain something about my family, and more specifically about my grandpa, the Ravi family loves there dessert! And, every night we would have dinner together and he would always have some form of dessert, often an Entenmann's goodie but sometimes something even better, like this Babka cake...oh and he also always brought fresh italian bread..he always brought italian bread, even if we were ordering chinese food for dinner or eating tacos, he always had the bread...another reason i have a rather large butt!)
OK moving on....this Babka recipe is perfect and i tweaked it and tweaked it to recreate what I remember from after dinner treats from Brooklny...which is nice since I am on the West coast these days ... it is sooo good. It is a semi-sweet dough, twisted with cocoa powder and chocolate shavings baked into a cake shape (or any shape you like) top with streusel and a drizzle of chocolate. YUM

I made these one day when i was bored and had to clean out my cubbard.
These are yummy! These are devil food chocolate cupcakes with a homemade sweet graham cracker crust stuffed with a giant marshmallow and topped with whipped chocolate ganache. The middle cupcakes are topped with toasted grahams and a drizzle of ganache....look inside these things

The cupcakes below were EVEN better!!

These have a cinnamon graham cracker crust with yellow butter cheesecake batter topped with homemade chocolate frosting, dipped in chocolate ganache and topped with toasted coconut.

And some of them had a chocolate surprise baked into the middle...yum!

Key Lime pie with graham cracker crust and Chantilly cream.

Strassburger and Bryssellkex cookies.

French apricot macaroons.

Pate a Choux also known as "shoe" paste ... really its cream puffs filled with delicious pastry cream.

These are my famous and incredibly delicious banana bread truffles taken up a notch with toasted coconut. SERIOUSLY these are sooo deathly delicious and i have no words to describe them.

If you are ever in Vegas ... i suggest you place an order so you can try some of my truffles!!